Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0286, January 23, 2007 ....

Dear friends,

We don't mean to lie but we're all just so accustomed to embellishing or withholding the whole truth that it becomes habitual. Lying erodes trust, not only in groups but in the life of the liar. As facilitators and group leaders, we have the opportunity to shed light on the little lies and half truths that permeate our society. In this week's article we explore a simple, but not always easy, approach to exposing "The Lies that Bind Us."

Facilitating at a Distance. This 5-day teleclass teaches the Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation. This class is for those of you wanting to offer a teleclass but don't feel you have all the skills and knowledge you need to do so, or for managers working with distributed teams that require you to facilitate virtual meetings. Please note that we changed the starting date for this class to
February 5th
. See details at the end of this issue.

Transforming Conflict in the Workplace.
This 5-day teleclass will help you remove the fear and uncertainty in working with conflict in groups and organizations. Led by a 25-year expert in the fields of facilitation and mediation, Harry Webne-Behrman. Class starts February 12th. Click here for details.

Warmest regards,

Steve Davis
Publisher and Founder of


Click here for detail

Live Two-Day Workshop
for Facilitative Leaders

Click here for details

The Point

The Lies that Bind Us
Make participants aware of their misalignments.

Relating Skill

We don't mean to lie but we're all just so accustomed to embellishing or withholding the whole truth that it becomes habitual. This habit is reinforced socially as in, "I'm just trying to be nice," politically as in, "politically correct," and personally as in, "I'm just fine."

Experts say that we lie, not so much to impress others, but to maintain a view of ourselves that's consistent with the way we'd like to be. We want to be agreeable, to make the social situation smoother or easier, and to avoid insulting others through disagreement or discord.

I suggest that in most cases, our lies erode our own trust in ourselves at some level. So I believe that one of the most powerful things we can do as facilitators, trainers, or leaders is to gently make our participants aware of any lie, delusion, incongruence, or inconsistency that we see. This can open up a whole new world of possibilities for your group.


Say you're facilitating a problem-solving session with a group of executives who are having problems working together. None of them can put their finger on why they can't work together better, but they talk nonstop about their problems. 

Each of them can't wait to make their case and they often interrupt each other to articulately express their point of view. You find yourself tempted to buy in to their story and quite frankly, you're a little intimidated by the brilliance and charisma that each executive displays in stating their "case." 

But deep down, you sense something is off. You feel intimidated and irritated, and you begin to smell their need to be right pervading the atmosphere. You also notice that their one-way communication and relating style is not a recipe for successful teamwork. What do you do? 

It's time to simply stop the group and state your perception. "As I listen to you, it seems to me that no one is listening. I sense that each of you are pushing your individual agendas and ignoring each other. Is this the kind of team you want?"

There are three important things to consider when pointing out a lie:

1. State your observation as your perception versus a fact, e.g. "It seems or me..." Or, "in my perception, it looks like..."

2. Ask questions. For instance, "How is this behavior working for you?" Or, "Is this the way you want to be perceived by others?"

3. Don't force your agenda. Give the group or individual permission to keep doing what they're doing. This can defuse any potential hostility or reaction to your observation.


The next time you have the opportunity to facilitate or participate in a group, listen carefully for what's being said, not said, and how it's said. Try "reading between the lines" to unearth untruths. Then you might even be so bold as to share your perception in a clear but diplomatic fashion. Make sure to own any feelings you have and to share your insight without judgment. This may take some practice, so try doing it to express something positive that you observe first. I'm interested in hearing what happened. Just reply to this email to send me your comments.

What Is the Emperor Wearing?: Truth-Telling in Business Relationships
, by Laurie Weiss

In today's world, the success of most activities depends on people's ability to work together. Dr. Weiss demonstrates that truth telling is the only reasonable path for organizations and individual relationships to excel. Her argument is that learning the skills to communicate one's own reality builds synergistic relationships and leads to greater productivity and satisfaction in the workplace. The first part of the book presents stories of people in real life situations who struggle with whether or not to tell the truth. The second part includes life experiences of people and companies that willingly have engaged in the journey of truth telling. Each chapter concludes with an evaluation of the story presented, provides guidelines to identify the problem, and lists strategies and techniques to address and resolve the situation. The topics include codependency, passive aggressive behavior, gullibility, paranoia, blind spots, intuition, ethical dilemmas, and hidden truths. The book is easy reading, insightful, and can serve as a quick reference in difficult situations. The techniques discussed can easily be translated to settings other than business. 

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In the Spotlight

Facilitating at a Distance: The Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation

Have you considered offering a teleclass as a more efficient way to deliver training, enhance group learning and generate more income for your business? 

Or, are you working with a distributed team that requires you to design and facilitate virtual meetings?

When done right, Teleclasses and Virtual Meetings (T/VM) are very effective and inexpensive ways to train, collaborate, and problem-solve. But if they aren't effectively facilitated, T/VM's can be a boring waste of time!

Remove the fear and uncertainty of teleclass/virtual meeting design and facilitation with this 5-day teleclass series: Leading at a Distance: The Essentials of Teleclass & Virtual Meeting Facilitation, led by Steve Davis, Founder of, February 5th-9th, 2007, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern (NY Time),
60 minutes each day.

This class covers all the elements of T/VM facilitation using a simple, well-organized, and proven approach. This course, that you can take from the comfort of your own home or office, is for facilitators, trainers, coaches, who want to design relevant, engaging, experiential workshops for groups using a simple, proven formula that's easy to apply to any workshop topic.

Learn how to design and run a T/VM that will maximize the use of your group's time and energy. By the end of the 5 days, you will:

  • Have learned the key skills needed to effectively facilitate a Teleclass/Virtual Meeting.
  • Know how to balance interactivity with meeting purpose.  
  • Have a an experience of the 10 modes of delivering learning and information in a virtual environment.
  • Know mistakes to avoid when facilitating your T/VM.
  • Know the 8 Critical Strategies to make your T/VM come alive.
  • Learn the 7 Keys to the Inner Game of T/VM Facilitation.
  • And much more..

Click here for further details and registration.

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